Substitutionary Atonement: The Satisfaction of the Wrath of God? (Long Read)

Many, who give Christianity a go, so to speak, do so on the basis of emotive appeals and/or yearning. And many, who eventually and effectively fall away, do so because Christianity seems incoherent. This may manifest itself as outright rejection, as neglect, or in wayward departure from essential verities and their application. Application is an entailment of genuine faith; much as technological applications entail genuine faith in underlying principles of scientific theories.

Proponents of Christianity can do little in regard those who honestly cannot reconcile Christianity with perceived realities; or those who exalt their own reason and/or psyche as the ultimate arbiters of Truth and the Good, especially whenever the counter-intuitive wisdom of the God of Scriptures comes into conflict (which shall inevitably occur); or those who were never sufficiently serious.

However, proponents of Christianity ought to, at least, ensure that the Gospel and Full Counsel of God that is transmitted is scripturally faithful and thereby rationally coherent. It is cause for deep grief and great disgust when it is the errant teachings of ecclesiastical orthodoxy, which prove contrary to Biblical orthodoxy, which are the reasons for initial or eventual rejection. It is cause for deep frustration when more time is required disabusing what Christianity is not, perpetuated by those self-identified and supposedly Christian, than in explaining what Christianity is.

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The Atonement of Christ, as the sating of the wrath of God unto our Justification, is one such ecclesiastical orthodoxy, deserving of such disdain. Continue reading “Substitutionary Atonement: The Satisfaction of the Wrath of God? (Long Read)”

Corporate Prayer

I do not like corporate prayer; nor do I do it very well. True corporate prayer is as intimate as sexual relations. And the former can and has very much led to the latter. True corporate prayer means vulnerability. And in anyone who has received a steady diet of barbs and rejection by the visible church over the years, such are disinclined to be that exposed. I do not know how to reconcile this.

Most of what I have observed and experienced in corporate prayer is formulaic and at arms-length. I have been to one men’s group in which each man took dutiful turn praying for one of the others in a painfully formalist exercise. I expect that it is all quite ineffectual and worthless.

Wednesday prayer meetings are the worst. Above eighty percent of prayers offered deal with someone’s sickness or some other malady with pleas for recovery. I am seriously tempted to go “full heretic” and pray that someone that I know be killed off.

And then there are those who self-ordain themselves as prayer warriors. These tend to hog the allocated prayer time with largely incoherent mumbles. They might as well as be praying in tongues. Actually, it would be an improvement since we could then demand an interpreter of the tongue.

Some have complained on this count. I have hitherto tended to excuse such prayer warriors; although I have often prayed, during those ordeals, that I was snoring narcoleptic. However, there was a recent incident, in which one self-styled prayer warrior was quick and indeed manifested a readied preparation beforehand to reject a personal request in a somewhat desperate situation.

If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? (James 2:15–6)

Consequently, my belief is that unless one is willing to be the sacrificial conduit in the fulfillment of those muttered prayers, those mumbles are but one long and tedious liturgical blasphemy. For if the prayer of concern is not matched by a conduct of concern, it emits the stench of disingenuity and hypocrisy. Certainly, this would inherently reduce the length of those warrior’s prayers.

Imputed Injustice – The Judicial Importance of Consent

Imputed Injustice

Imputed Injustice – Calvin Against the Calvinists

It is my empirically justified belief that modern Protestant Evangelicalism, and particularly its seminarian elite, have little comprehension of the nature and principles of Justice, including that of due process. In this, the seminarians have seriously failed to uphold the triumvirate of concerns that Christ Jesus deemed primary: judgment/justice, faith, and compassion (Matt 23:23). And if one does not comprehend the nature and principles of Justice, one cannot comprehend the Justice in the Justification in the Atonement.

A, if not THE primary argument deployed to validate the notion of humanity’s collective guilt in Adams’s sin is proof by blackmail. If one repudiates the imputation of Adam’s sin and guilt upon all, neither can one subscribe to the imputation of Christ Jesus’s work on behalf of those who put their faith in Him. We would thereby still be hopelessly dead in our sins. Continue reading “Imputed Injustice – The Judicial Importance of Consent”

Imputed Injustice

It is my empirically justified belief that modern Protestant Evangelicalism, and particularly its seminarian elite, have little comprehension of the nature and principles of Justice, including that of due process. In this, the seminarians have seriously failed to uphold the triumvirate of concerns that Christ Jesus deemed primary: judgment/justice, faith, and compassion (Matt 23:23). And if one does not comprehend the nature and principles of Justice, one cannot comprehend the Justice in the Justification in the Atonement.

I am not keen on citing myself as an authoritative source. I would rather leave such quasi-divine pretentions to Canadian Supreme Court Madam Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé in one of those “No Means No” sexual consent cases. However, in the absence of someone else who shares my conclusions, the observations and arguments contained within the citation, rather than the credentials and merits of its author, must do.

One of those many grievous ecclesiastical follies to which God, in his superior wisdom and knowledge of my psychological constitution (Ps 139: 1–18), shielded me from knowing through long Bunyanesque ordeal and psychosis, was the theological and judicial travesty of the imputation of Adam’s sin guilt upon all of his descendants. I would have been like this gorgeous lad, (although less gorgeous), which Faith Today deployed to model those Millennials who reject the faith of their parents.

Rejecter of the Faith

Continue reading “Imputed Injustice”

The Gospel of the Kingdom

The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel. (Mark 1:15)

To his credit, N.T. Wright is rightly restoring the ‘sociopolitical’ dimension of the Gospel to the Christian consciousness, even if his soteriology is ultimately incoherent and heretical. For, the first manner by which Christ proclaimed the Gospel (Matthew 4:23, Mark 1:15) is as the Gospel of the Kingdom. It is near about Christ’s last (Matthew 24:14). Indeed, the nature of the Kingdom was constant theme of Christ’s teachings.

It is by means of exploiting the atomistic impoverishment of the Americanized Gospel that NT. Wright establishes a greater credibility over the existing orthodoxy, which he thereupon extends into his perspective on the nature and meaning of Justification. For, to the American Evangelicals…

The gospel is the great news of what God has graciously done in Jesus Christ, especially in his atoning death and vindicating resurrection, his ascension, session, and high priestly ministry, to reconcile sinful human beings to himself, justifying them by the penal substitute of his Son, and regenerating and sanctifying them by the powerful work of the Holy Spirit, who is given to them as the down payment of their ultimate inheritance. God will save them if they repent and trust in Jesus.1

…the Gospel merely becomes a matter of “how to get saved”. And in the industrial strength commoditization of Christian conversion through such methodisms as the Altar Call and The Four Laws, salvation becomes a formalistic ritual equivalent of baptismal regeneration. “Take a little walk; say a little prayer; sign a little card; get saved tonight;” (to a modified chorus from K.C. and the Sunshine Band’s “Get Down Tonight” (1975)).

Continue reading “The Gospel of the Kingdom”

Rob Bell “Love Wins” – Hell or Purgatory – Part 1

I have set you a watchman to the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say to the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die; if you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand. Nevertheless, if you warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. (Ezekiel 33:7-9, 3:17-19)

My heart lacks appetite for publicly critiquing and directly confronting the absurd nonsense that I hear from those who purport to represent Christianity. Really! Truly! I say this, despite the overwhelming evidence that I do unapologetically publicly critique and directly confront the absurd nonsense that I hear from those who purport to represent Christianity.

I cannot do otherwise, even if I must forgo ambitions for public office. I have tasted too much of Hell and some of Heaven; such that I intimately know of these spiritual realities. The Gospel and Full Counsel of God that I observe in Scriptures; when unfiltered by second and third rate theological/philosophical ruminations, disingenuous sophistries, factual and scriptural selectivity and interpretative contortionism; is pristinely rational and grants a wondrous intellectual and moral clarity.

And I will seek to use as incisive a surgical wit, to which I have been endowed, to “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God” (1 Corinthians 10:5). But I retain a terror that in “speaking truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15); I favor or appear to favor too much, the truth side. Inevitably, some people will always declaim; although I have little motive in denigrating another. Or they will accuse without being able to honestly and objectively point out the mean-spirited in that specific comment. (With written, recorded words, one can always return to source.) But there are occasions when after one speaks repeatedly and gently on a matter of great import, a polemic thump is necessary.

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity. (The Second Coming – Yeats – 1919)

Continue reading “Rob Bell “Love Wins” – Hell or Purgatory – Part 1”